‘FBI’: How the Show Used a Photoshop Trick To Thicken the Plot for OA

by Suzanne Halliburton
David M. Russell/CBS ©2022

The folks behind the camera on FBI intentionally wanted viewers to think OA really was seeing phantoms as the team tried to find the killer of a TSA agent.

OA (Zeeko Zaki) swore he saw Tamir Hazara, a terrorist he’d investigated in Afghanistan. But here’s the problem. The case he was dealing with in Tuesday’s episode “Ghost from the Past” concerned a drug dealer bribing TSA agents to allow his mules to pass through a security line with no check of their carry-on baggage. The suspected mastermind — Jem Polat — owned a Mediterranean restaurant as his cover. So why would Hazara be in New York, sitting in a random restaurant? Plus, the terrorist OA thought he saw was killed in a drone strike a few years back. His DNA was discovered at the scene, according to US intelligence.

His fellow agents doubted OA, believing he still was suffering anxiety from past cases. Jubal even decided to ignore OA’s insistence that Hazara had anything to do with the case. And show producers used photoshop to try and convince viewers, too, as OA saw ghosts behind a dumpster or walking on a street.

Wolf Entertainment provided some behind-the-scenes details in a Twitter post following the FBI episode.

FBI Episode Was All About a Drug Ring. Or So We Thought

Now, for some details about the case of the week and how it all worked out. Let’s go to the CBS plot tease: “The murder of a TSA agent leads the team to hunt down a killer who is using drug mules to exploit airport security checkpoints. Also, OA struggles to cope with the aftermath of the sarin gas exposure and the 10th anniversary of his army friend’s death in Afghanistan.”

As the hour opened, a TSA agent was telling someone she no longer could help him. She told them she’d give back their money when she sold her car. As she turned around, someone shot her several times in the back. The agents eventually discovered the dead TSA agent was waving through a drug mule wearing a red puffer jacket and carrying a backpack. They found surveillance footage and identified the mule, Jorge Cissneros.

Meanwhile, OA and temporary partner, Nina, visited the restaurant. That’s when OA saw Tamir sitting in a booth. Tamir, perhaps noticing OA staring at him, slipped out and disappeared. The agents convinced Jorge to wear a wire and go back to the restaurant. Jem gave him a new assignment. Jorge took the backpack and got into an Uber. But Scola was the driver. After driving a couple of blocks, the two got out of the car to check the backpack. Instead of drugs, it contained a bomb. Now, you can see how Tamir would be involved.

OA (Zeeko Zaki) (David M. Russell/CBS ©2022)

As it turns out, Jem grew up in Afghanistan. And he and Tamir sought revenge against the United States. Tamir kidnapped the family of a TSA supervisor to make sure that the mule could go through with the bomb. But because OA kept forcing the issue that Tamir really was alive, the FBI figured out where the terrorist held the hostages.

Since OA knew that Tamir always had an escape route, he climbed into the sewer system under the hideout to wait for him. While Nina rescued the family, OA confronted Tamir and got his man.

However, OA really was overwhelmed by past events. The FBI agents apologized for doubting him. Then OA went to see his therapist.